Archive for the ‘Chapter Three’ Tag

Chapter 3 some more

Sunday, September 30th, 2012

“All right,” shouted Aragon. “Don’t nobody move!”

“Wait,” said the teacher. “Do you mean that we should move? That’s a double negative you know.”

“You moved!” Aragon shouted as he conjured up a blast of eldritch flame, instantly incinerating the old man.  “Now then Magus,” he said while pointing at a crying little girl with pigtails, “kill that kid.”

“But… she’s just a little girl!” said Magus.

“And?” responded Aragon. “She moved.”

“No,” said Magus. “It’s wrong. I may not be much of a hero but I have to stand up against something.”

“You know,” said Aragon, ignoring Magus’s previous comment. “There was a butcher I knew once. Out of fear, in an attempt to save his family, he betrayed my brother. For that, he lost his eyes. But you know what? That wasn’t enough. By the time I was done with him, he had lost everything. His friends, his home, his family, and his way of life. I left him in the middle of the desert, eternally starving yet unable to die, until the geas I put on him drew him into the tender mercy of the elves. Are you sure you want to risk that?”

“Not only shall he risk it,” said Petrov, “But I shall risk it at his side. Magus, you have my axe.”

“And my sword,” said Ærin.

“And my dagger,” said Abda.

Magus looked up at Aragon and said “Your move.”

“Very well.” Suddenly, Aragon jumped, arcing over them in a leap that would have been really dramatic if it wasn’t for the really low celling in that building. As is, he hit his head on a rafter and knocked himself out.

“That was anticlimactic,” said Magus.

Then, inside his head came a thought that was not his own. The voice screeched, resonating with power before shouting “Good, for the worst is yet to come!” Then, there was the sound of breaking wood, as the roof was ripped off and flung aside by some creature larger than a house, with claws like knives and breath like a jet engine. Its scaly, reptilian hide was dyed a midnight blue, and its eyes glowed as red as the fires of hell.

“A dragon?” said Magus. “Really? After what we did to the scorpion a few pages ago?  Antimagic-”

“No,” said the voice, behind which ran an intelligence so ancient and powerful that it almost destroyed Magus’s mind on the spot. This was a creature so outlandish, so alien to normal human thought, that being connected to it would by all rights drive a man mad.

“Look, will you stop that. You may be the narrator, but that doesn’t mean you can describe how I’m feeling. Last gig I got was in a story written by a Lovecraft fan, so unless you have a blasphemous abomination with eight ever screaming mouths that devours its enemies whole and digests them while they still live, there’s no way you’re going to scare me.”

Hey, that’s actually a very good idea.

“See?  You’re giving him ideas,” said Ærin. “Please shut up now.”

“You do realize that I’m still here, right?”

“Hush now,” said Magus. “The grownups are talking.”

“I shall hush when you are in your graves!” said the dragon as its mouth opened, revealing the glowing pilot light deep behind its uvula.

“Look,” said Magus, “You can’t flame us.  It’ll kill Aragon too.”

“Hrmmm…” muttered the dragon. Then, it lowered its claw onto Magus, pinning him to the ground so that it would only have to move an inch in order to decapitate him. “You have a point.” It said.

“May I have some last words?” said Magus.

“Very well,” the dragon murmured. “But make it quick.”

“Consilium meum consilium asinum detractum!”

Then, as Magus spat out those words, both he and his comrades disappeared!

“How the hell did they get away?” thought the dragon.

“A wizard did it,” Aragon thought back.

Chapter 3 again

Sunday, September 23rd, 2012

Magus woke up. His eyes opened, and they flitted around, quickly taking in the surroundings. Not much to look at really. Black room, the black chair he was sitting in, torch shining into his eyes, that kind of thing. He tried to get up and discovered he was tied to the chair. Oh, and did I mention the ominous figures standing around the room? There were a lot of ominous figures standing around the room, each wearing some kind of black cloth wrapped around their heads.

“Tell me,” said the figure in the front, obviously the leader. “Why were you looking for our base?”

“We were looking for the insurgents,” said Magus. “We wanted to join.”

“Hrmmm…” muttered the leader. Then, Magus suddenly felt an odd presence feeling about in his mind. He tried to resist, but he could halt it no more than the Pillsbury Dough Boy could stop a steamroller.

After a few seconds, the presence retreated, and the leader said “He is telling the truth.” He then snapped his fingers, and the bonds trapping Magus sprung off and set him free.

“Who are you?” said Magus as he was getting up. “And why do you all have towels wrapped around your heads?”

“Because we couldn’t find anyone who sold ski masks in bulk… And as to who we are… we are the insurgents… and I…. am Aragon Ælfhame.” As he said this, the man took off his off his towel revealing features that would be totally unremarkable, if you did not notice the soulless cat-like eyes, and the eerie, inhuman face.

When he saw the man and heard his name, Magus gasped, because he had been hearing tales of him for his entire childhood. Some stories said he had sold his soul to the fey, while others said he had joined with the elves to fight the Empire, and no two were even remotely alike.

“Come on,” said Ælfhame. “Your friends are waiting and there’s good that needs doing.”

******

“How is blowing up a school doing good?” asked Magus.

“It’s for the greater good.” responded Aragon.

“Ah,” said Magus. “This is obviously some form of the word good of which I was previously unaware.”

“What did you just say?” said Ælfhame with a tone of menace that made it obvious that he had heard exactly what Magus had said.

“I said ‘yes sir,’” replied Magus.

“Very good.”

Chapter 3 again

Sunday, September 16th, 2012

“Behold! The waterfall!” shouted the guide.

“Look, will you stop practicing your dramatic reveal!” said Magus, getting up from his patch of sand. “We’re trying to sleep! You’re loud enough to wake the dead!”

“Come on,” whined the guide. “It isn’t that bad!”

Suddenly, as it had been woken by the annoying whining of the side character, a giant desert scorpion unearthed itself from the sand.

“Told you so.”

“That was just a coincidi—ARGH!”

After impaling the guide on one of its claws, the vile beast turned his attention to Magus, who promptly ran and hid behind a rock.

“That was brave of you,” said Ærin.

“Honor is for suckers,” said Magus. “Besides, it’s not like you’re one to talk.  You’re hiding too!”

“I’m not hiding, I retreated in order to loop around and flank the enemy.”

“You’re hiding.”

“Bah. Anyway, where’s Petrov?”

“Death to most tyrants!”

“Crap.”

As Magus turned, he saw Petrov leaping out at the scorpion, shouting dwarvish curses all the while.

“Dammit Petrov!” shouted Magus. “Get away from that thing! You’ll get yourself killed!”

“The bigger they come, the harder they fall!” responded Petrov as he dodged a swipe of the scorpion’s tail.

“If that thing falls it’ll land on you!” shouted Magus quickly, hoping not to draw the beasts ire his way.

“All trees are felled at ground height!” said Petrov.

“Some trees are not meant to be felled!” responded Magus.

“Look, will you just help!” shouted Petrov.

“He’s right you know,” said Abda. “We can’t sneak past that thing and we’re going to need the guide’s map if we want to get out.”

“Very well,” said Magus. Then, he shouted “For death! For honor! For glory!” and with those words, the party rose out from behind the rock and attacked.

Well, most of it at any rate.

“Look,” said Magus. “I’m the mage! Never mind the giant scorpion; I would probably die if someone looked at me too hard!”

Bah! It’s just a giant desert scorpion. The worst it can do is poison you, grab your staff and then beat you to death with it.

“Why does that fail to reassure me? Anyway, how does the scorpion work?”

What do you mean, work? It has a blood and stuff, just like everything else.

“Yes,” said Magus, “but what about the square cube law?”

Huh?

“When you square the size of something, you cube the stress on its materials. That scorpion’s legs should snap, and if they were large enough to hold it up, it wouldn’t be able to get enough oxygen to its legs and on.”

It’s magic. You travel around in the same group as a midget with a prehensile beard and you’re complaining about this!

“So you admit it’s magic?”

Yes…

“Anti-Magic Field!”

I hate you.

“Good for you. Start narrating!”

Fine then. Ahem.

As the giant desert scorpion collapsed into a pile of blood and gore, Magus smirked like the moronic asshole he was, knowing fully well that he had ruined the suspense, and that there would now be no chance of the narrator getting to use something cool like a dragon, as he had gone and found a cheap way to kill them. Bastard.

“Congratulations!” said the idiot. “You just managed to become more biased then Fox News.”

“Can you just leave the fourth wall alone?” said Petrov. “We’ve got the map, so let’s get going.”

******

“Behold!” shouted Petrov. “The waterfall!”

“Hooray,” said Magus. ”A waterfall. Can we enter now?”

“Fine.”

As Magus entered, walking straight through the misty spray, he saw a flicker of movement out of the corner of his eye, but it was probably nothing. Then, everything went black.

More of c3

Tuesday, September 11th, 2012

“Why,” panted Magus as he followed along behind the guide, “Did you have to build your secret base on the other end of a desert.”

“If we put it in the middle of the city,” said the guide, “it wouldn’t stay a secret for long. We better stop now. Night is coming.”

********

“Well,” said Magus as he poked the fire with a stick, “I never expected needing a fire in the desert.”

“Idiot,” said Ærin as she sat down on the sand. “What do you expect? Sand cools quickly.”

“I know,” said Magus, “but I didn’t manage to put two and two together. Same with the noise! Why do all the creatures come out at night? Even with the fire, it’s freezing cold!”

“I will agree on that,” said Ærin. “I haven’t the faintest idea as to how the others manage to sleep through this.”

“I suppose you get used to it after a while,” said Magus. “You wouldn’t believe what I got used to in my last gig.”

“Actually,” said Ærin, “I probably would, given that I discovered that lichen makes a really good pillow when you’re tired enough.”

“Yes,” said Magus, “but was the lichen located in a H.P. Lovecraft novel? Mine was.”

“Ouch,” said Ærin, wincing with sympathy.

“It wasn’t actually that bad,” continued Magus. “I was some kind of immortal wizard who fed off the life force of his ancestors, so I got to view the situation from the other side. Still, I wish I had snuck in a pillow or something. Sarcophagi are really uncomfortable.”

“Idiot,” said Ærin. “You know what the narrators do to any foreign objects people manage to sneak in.”

“Why do you keep talking like that?” asked Magus. “It’s not like you have to insult someone every other line.”

“Actually,” said Ærin, “I do. I’m a member of the Tsundere’s guild. I presumed you would have realized that by now.”

“Really?” said Magus. “I’ve never heard the term before.”

“It’s a portmanteau of a few foreign words Affection and Disgust. That really sums the place up.”

“What’s it like in there?” asked Magus.

“It’s really nice,” responded Ærin. “You get a guarantied position in any of the Anime productions, and a cool looking membership card to boot. Here, have a look.”

Magus looked at the card, which had a rather nice picture of Ærin above a few eldritch sigils.

“Those?” said Ærin as she noticed his gaze falling onto the sigils. “They’re the motto of the guild in its original language. They translate as—”

“Don’t tell me,” interrupted Magus. “I think I can translate it. I remember learning Kanji back when I was still an apprentice.”

After a few seconds of Magus muttering things like “Bakka,” and “Negative context,” he looked up at Ærin and said “Stupid Shinji? What kind of motto is that?”

“Ours,” said Ærin. “Idiot. What did you expect? It’s a quote from our founder.”

“The Mages guild never quotes our founder,” said Magus. “Then again, it might have something to do with the fact that he was a crossdresser.”

********

“Maaaaaguuuuusssss,” moaned the spectral apparition as it materialized inside the fire. “I have a message for you from the world of the dead!”

Magus snored, as he had finally fallen asleep.

“Wake up, idiot,” said the ghost, crossing her arms and growing ethereal pigtails. “I’m trying to deliver a prophecy here!”

“But mommy,” muttered Magus. “I don’t wanna go to school-.”

“Shut up,” snapped the apparition. “Three problems. First: You’ve never met your parents. Second: If you had, you would not have gone to a school due to the lack of anything remotely resembling an education system. Third: THAT IS THE WORST JOKE I HAVE EVER HEARD! IT WASN’T FUNNY IN WHATEVER YOU STOLE IT FROM, AND IT ISN’T FUNNY NOW!”

“Oh,” said Magus, rolling over as he recognized the voice of his childhood friend companion acquaintance. “It’s you.”

At this point, had Magus been drinking something when he saw Travia’s blackened and scorched imperial armor, he would have spat it out everywhere, and it would have been rather droll. Regrettably, supplies were being rationed, so he instead made a weird sputtering noise.

“The Emperor murdered me!” said Travia, apparently ignorant of the police report’s contents. “I think he figured out that I was planning to betray him!”

“Yes,” said Magus, remembering the soldier he had killed in the prologue. “That is what happened. He truly is an awful person. Now then, about that prophecy?”

“Be patient!” snapped Travia. “I’m getting to it.”

She cleared her throat.

“With elder staff and adamant sword,/
A lone hero goes to slay the Dark Lord./
As he walks through fire and flame,/
He shall become the Tyrant’s bane./
Aided by rogue, warrior, and midget,/
he really does look like an idiot.”

“That last line didn’t rhyme very well,” said Magus. “You should see about getting a proofreader.”

“I’m just not very good at rhyming,/” responded Travia. “Perhaps I should work on my pacing.”

“I give up.”

More of chapter 3

Thursday, September 6th, 2012

“Now what?” said Ærin. “Since idiot here killed the plot hook, there really isn’t anything to do.”

“Well,” said Magus. “We could use this.” And with those words, he pulled out of his pocket a smallish book, with a spine saying “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Elder Earth” and the words “Don’t Panic” on the cover in large, friendly letters. “I found it in that dwarf’s shop,” he said by way of explanation.

“Nah,” said Abda. “That thing will probably explode the first chance it gets.”

“Come on,” said Magus. “The dwarf was harmless. Well, mostly.”

“Let’s go,” said Petrov. “We can just ask some random NPC about the insurgents.”

******

“Ask a random NPC you said. It can’t hurt you said.”

“Well how was I supposed to know he was a cop?”

“He had a badge and a hat and everything!”

“I thought he was a cosplayer!”

Magus looked around at their surroundings, which were identical to those of the last prison, thus saving me from having to describe it again. After thinking for a bit, Magus then said “Why is it almost all of our adventures end with us in jail?”

“Does it matter?” said Abda. “Anyway, I checked under the bed for the passage to the sewers, but it isn’t here this time.”

“Don’t panic,” said Magus. “I have a way out. I’m a wizard; I can just fireball my way through the wall!”

“You idiot!” shouted Ærin. “Haven’t you read the rulebook? This cell is just ten by ten! The blast would reflect back on us for twice times damage!”

“Besides,” said Petrov, “Even if you could conceivably focus the blast enough, we would be fried by convection long before it reached the melting point of rock.”

“Will you shut up!” said Abda. “We’re talking about science here!”

“We dwarves are the epitome of science! Why, back in the old country—”

“NO ONE CARES!”

“Anyway,” said Ærin. “Now what? There’s—”

Then, suddenly from the window, a voice rang out.

“I hear you’re looking for the rebellion,” it said.

“And what if we are?” responded Magus.

“First you must tell me,” said the voice. “Friend or Foe.”

“It depends,” responded Magus. “What would you do if I said foe?”

“I have three barrels of black powder out here to cover your escape,” replied the voice. “Don’t make me move them any closer.”

“Friend it is.”

chapter 3

Monday, September 3rd, 2012

“Why so stereotyped?” said Magus.

“What do you mean?” said Abda. “This is my home. What did you expect it to be like?”

“Not like this!” Magus replied. “I mean look! Almost everyone’s wearing a turban!  Why, I wouldn’t put it past this place to be ruled by a sultan!”

“Well who else would you have ruling a country?” said Abda. “A king?”

“Of course!” said Magus.

“Look,” said Abda. “It’s our country and we have the right to live in a cliché. It’s not like the empire’s any better. I mean aqueducts and fire engines? We might as well call them not-currently-ancient Grome!”

“Fine,” responded Magus. “But we better not find any more Middle Eastern stereotypes, or else I leave, no matter what the danger in the Empire is.  If I never see another minaret, it will be too soon.”

“What about terrorists?”

“Terrorists too! Blending time periods is almost as annoying as steampunk!”

“Then don’t look in front of you.”

Magus looked in front of him. As expected, there he saw some insurgents attacking one of the garrisons the empire had placed in the cities of its ‘allies’. They were impressive, showing matrix-esque feats of agility, slaughtering the guards with ease. Soon, there was only one left, a kid just barely old enough to join who probably had thought that he would get a medal by the end of the week. He was on his back in the dirt, quickly attempting to scuttle away.

“Please!” he said. “Please don’t kill me! I don’t want to be here, I just got picked up by the draft! I’ve got a family, a life, and I can’t go back to any of those if you kill me pleasenononononono,” he said as he broke down and was reduced to incoherent babbling. The insurgent in the front, a medium sized man garbed head-to-toe in wrapped cloth simply reached down and broke the guard’s neck.

Magus looked on the scene of carnage, obviously shocked. Then, as the insurgents began to disperse into various alleyways he said “We have got to figure out how to join them.”

“It’s not that hard,” said Abda. “This novel is rather linear. Here, watch,” he said, gesturing to a hovel with smoke leaking out from the holes in the roof. “I bet you that if we walked in there we’d find some kind of contact for them.”

Inside the hovel, there were two fires, equally spaced, with an old man in red robes standing in between them. The floor was coated in so many layers of soot it was as black as night, and the walls were a sickly green. The old man looked straight at Magus as if he could peer into his soul, before spreading his hands and saying, “Walk into the waterfall.”

“Dammit,” said Magus. “I have had it up to here with clichés. Tell us where to find the insurgents base or else.”

“Walk into the waterfall,” said the old man.

“Say that one more time and I kill you,” said Magus.

“I know you won’t hurt me,” responded the old man. “So I say unto thee once again: Walk into the fucking waterfall!”

“…”

“ARGH! MY BRITTLE, OLD MAN RIBS!”